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  • Can omotenashi really be outsourced to robots?
  • Can omotenashi really be outsourced to robots?
    Calvin, Creative Commons (2013) ©
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Why Japan wants to offer the world selfless hospitality

Omotenashi – which roughly translates as ‘selfless hospitality’ – is a complex concept; one the Japanese pride themselves on. As the 2020 Olympics approach, Japan is preparing to serve it up on a mass scale, turning to robots for help. But are androids advanced enough to emulate such a human service?

Location Japan

Scope
The word omotenashi – often translated as ‘selfless hospitality’ – is a complex concept. As the word grows increasingly familiar on an international scale, it’s often used to describe the unique Japanese standard of customer service. But when you look at how the word is used in its native land, there’s far more to it.

The word has been put at the forefront of Japan’s bid for the 2020 Olympics, with Christel Takigawa, a multilingual journalist and the bid ambassador, using it in her speech to the IOC. “We will offer you a unique welcome,” she said. ...

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